Welcome to Building Blocks!

We are a cooperative pre-school located in the Santa Cruz Mountains, California about half way between the towns of Los Gatos and Santa Cruz on Summit Road across from Loma Prieta Joint Union Elementary School District (K-8).

We were founded over 20 years ago by local parents who wanted to raise their families in the mountains.

We have two classes that run from the end of August through the beginning of June. Plus, we have several weeks of Summer Session in July and August.

younger class: Tues & Thurs, 8:30am - 12:30pm

older class: Mon, Wed. & Fri , 8:30am - 12:30pm

Tuition Rates 2016-2017


2015-2016 School Year: August 24 - June 3

Plan 1: Parents working in the classroom

TTH: $200 per month
9 payments, $1800 school yr

MWF: $265 per month
9 payments, $2385 school yr

* if you are planning to hire a substitute for the majority of your shifts you need to select the Plan 2 option

Plan 2: No parental classroom work

TTH: $330 per month
9 payments, $2970 school yr

MWF: $465 per month
9 payments, $4185 school yr

*For Plan 2, priority will be given to families in the Loma Prieta School District.  This is a trial plan, we reserve the right to raise tuition by up to 10% this year if necesary.

Both Plans: 5% discount for multiple children enrolled

Classes


The program is open to children 2 to 5 years of age, contingent upon an evaluation period. Most children will start our program around 2.5 years. The program begins at 8:30am and ends at 12:30pm, including a bag lunch from home.

TTH: each child will be able to choose freely what s/he wishes to do and have an adult to encourage and assist as needed; but the children will be responsible for what is selected and how they use their time.

MWF (older class): children will learn through a play-based environment, developing the skills and mastery they need for kindergarten at their own pace. At the two story times each day, morning message, songs and stories will be shared, with a few giggles along the way!

Parent Responsibilities

As in any cooperative preschool, parents are expected to be very involved in the school, but we offer a range of flexible options for parents with varying schedules. 

***** Plan 1 *****

Classroom: One adult needs to participate in the classroom from 8:15 to 12:45 approximately 2 days per month for the TTH class, and approximately 3 days per month for the MWF class. The families in our program meet this obligation in a variety of ways: mothers, fathers, grandparents, or nanny’s can be the primary working adult.  We also have a list of substitutes, which can be hired at $70/day to work those shifts (each family gets one sick day per year in which the school covers the cost of the substitute).

Snack: Bring a healthy, fun snack 4-5x a year.

School Job: Each family gets one school job, such as doing laundry, maintaining the website, cleaning the gutters, or participating on the fundraising committee.  Hours vary.

Maintenance: Either participate in a  4-hr maintenance day each semester (2x a year) or pay $100 per semester ($200/year)

Fundraising: Be present as a volunteer at a yearly fundraiser held in the Spring

***** Plan 2 *****

Classroom: No classroom work.

Snack: Bring a healthy, fun snack 4-5x a year.

School Job: Each family gets one school job, such as doing laundry, maintaining the website, cleaning the gutters, or participating on the fundraising committee.  Hours vary.

Maintenance: Either participate in a  4-hr maintenance day each semester (2x a year) or pay $100 per semester ($200/year)

Fundraising: Be present as a volunteer at a yearly fundraiser held in the Spring

2015-2016 School Year Changes

Building Blocks is growing and changing in exciting ways! For those familiar with our old program, here is a summary of the changes we are making for the new school year:

Aftercare: There will no longer be after school seminar or an aftercare shift. Parents will pick up their children at 12:30 and are welcome to socialize while the kids play as long as they are responsible for their own child. If a working parent has questions/concerns about the day the teacher will be available.


Meetings: There will no longer be mandatory general meetings. Meetings will be held 3x/year, they will be optional off-campus, social gatherings with food and drink, that everyone is welcome to attend. Most school business will be conducted via email letters from the board.

Parent education seminars open to the public: We hope to continue to offer seminars (separate from general meetings, ~3x a year) led by experts in child development and education. These seminars will be optional and we plan to open them to the entire community.

Maintenance: There will be a maintenance buy-out for all members. If any member does not wish to participate in maintenance they may pay $100/semester or $200/year. This money will be use to hire any help needed for property upkeep.

Sick Days: The sub fee is $70. It's the responsibility of the working family to find a substitute. You can look for a family to swap working days with you or you can hire a sub.  The sub list with names and contact information is on the schedule page on the Building Blocks website.  Finding a swap can be accomplished by contacting families you know individually, or a more productive way is to email the membership using the Building Blocks google groups email list.  Payment to our subs is expected on the day that they work

New "Plan 1 & 2" Options: see Plan details above.

Coop Program Benefits

Share your child’s preschool experience by playing together, developing intimacy and independence, and fostering budding friendships.

  • Learn new ways to handle situations that initially seem difficult by observing and conferring with a trained teacher and other experienced adults.
  • Build a community of support for your child, yourself, and your family.
  • Discover new ideas and methods of parenting and being with children.
  • Discuss your questions, challenges, and delights as you grow. Try out new ideas through your participation in the classroom.


A few testimonials from happy parents and teachers...

My daughter was at Building Blocks in the Monday , Wednesday and Friday class, and absolutely loved it! Teacher Karen has a great way with children and she leaves a long lasting impression on our kids! It was a great environment for the parents too, with great seminars and support. I would highly recommend this preschool, it's also a great start for them before going to Loma!
~Cecilia Villafane, Fran's mom!~

I have taught Kindergarten at Loma Prieta School for thirteen years. It has been a privilege to have many Building Blocks students come through my doors! They are always well prepared for their Kindergarten experience: socially, emotionally, and academically. Building Blocks graduates are able to communicate and resolve conflicts constructively. Their skills are typically on target for success in their Kindergarten year in reading, writing and math. I always look forward to the next group each year!
~Kat Ray, Kinder Teacher~

We were extremely happy with our girls' experiences at Building Blocks. They loved Teacher Karen and learned so much. Both our girls started in the TTH class as 2.5/3 year olds and remained until kindergarten. They were very prepared for kindergarten, both socially and academically.
~Happy Parent~

Building Blocks was a wonderful learning experience for our son Marko. He joined the program when he was 2 years old and quickly developed outstanding communication skills, character building and conflict resolution strategies. It was also a positive experience participating in classroom activities with the children and build relationships with other families in the community.
~Happy Parent~

Our Philosophy

         

We believe that an atmosphere of mutual respect that gives the children a sense of security and self-worth is necessary before any learning and growth can take place. Our program will offer opportunities for children to set challenges, test themselves, and find success in all aspects of their lives.

Our program is designed to meet the developmental needs of each child. We offer varied activities that encourage growth in all areas such as language development, fine and large motor skills, creative expression, social and emotional development, sensory-motor development, and cognitive development. We believe that children and adults learn best through active, hands-on discovery. We also believe that play is the child’s best medium – the way they make sense and learn about their complex world.

      

The Nature of Play

      



At our preschool, children learn through play. Play is learning. Play teaches children to talk and express their ideas. Language grows and stretches when children make-believe. They learn to plan, think ahead, and organize while they are pretending. Play teaches children to work with others. They wait and share; they give and take while the fun goes on. Play makes the body strong – muscles grow. Pushing, pulling, digging, hauling are all used in play as spur-of-the-moment games are created. Play makes children curious and develops questions about the world. How does this work? How can I do that? Play is the work of children.


         

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